Temporary Foreign Worker Program and International Mobility Program: Persons who may apply at a port of entry

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Some workers can apply at the time of their entry to Canada [R198(1)].

Most foreign workers must apply for a work permit outside of Canada. Foreign nationals may apply for a work permit on arrival at a port of entry (POE) in Canada if the following applies:

  • they are exempt from the requirement for a temporary resident visa and their job falls within the International Mobility Program (i.e., they are not required to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment [LMIA]);
  • they are exempt from the requirement for a temporary resident visa and their job falls within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (i.e., they are required to obtain an LMIA) and a positive or neutral LMIA has been issued by the time they arrive
  • they are a national or permanent resident of the U.S., Greenland or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon regardless of whether their job falls with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program
  • they will not be working as a live-in caregiver or as a seasonal agricultural worker
Note: In addition to the above, the foreign national must have completed their immigration medical examination, if required, before their arrival.

Foreign nationals from eTA expansion countries are not eligible to apply for a work permit at a POE, as they are not TRV-exempt as per section 190 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Persons who hold a valid work permit or who wish to change their conditions or renew their work permit should apply in Canada, pursuant to section R199.

However, if a person seeking entry into Canada meets the requirements of section R198 and section R200, their work permit application will be processed at the POE.

Persons whose work permits expire while they are out of the country may apply at the POE if they are eligible to apply there pursuant to section R198. They must provide the officer at a POE with sufficient documentation to satisfy the officer that the client meets the requirements for the category in which they are applying.

Note: Although foreign nationals who are exempt from the requirement of a temporary resident visa may apply for a work permit at a POE, if they are travelling to Canada by air, they will need to apply for and obtain an electronic travel authorization (eTA) in order to board their flight to Canada. At the air POE, when their work permit is issued, they will also be automatically issued a new eTA with a new validity date.
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